09/19/2007 09:42 PM
The Denver Post - Can Murdoch save newspapers?
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fred brown | columnist
Can Murdoch save newspapers?
By Fred Brown
Denver Post Columnist
Article Last Updated: 08/10/2007 11:28:31 PM MDT
Rupert Murdoch's purchase of Dow Jones, the company that owns the Wall Street Journal, has set off a
round of navel-gazing in the world of serious journalism. Will the Journal continue to be a serious,
authoritative voice, or will it slide into a more sensationalistic approach?
And what of the interactivity that Murdoch promises? Will multimedia expansion be a model that other
journalists can copy to survive in this multiple-choice Internet world? Or will it encourage more ill-
In a somewhat related development, much attention was paid last weekend to a convention of the
unconventional - a glob of bloggers at the YearlyKos convention in Chicago, wherein new journalists
considered ways to do what old journalists used to do much better: cover local government.
And closer to home, Colorado Confidential, a local political website that works very hard to be
respectable journalism, albeit with a point of view (a liberal one), won more serious kudos for its reporting
and commentary. There are blogs, and then there online news sites. The best ones are reliable and
accurate, even if they are not impartial.
Meanwhile, the old media - especially newspapers, but broadcast, too - are knocking themselves out
trying to compete on the Internet, even while circulation, viewers and advertising revenue continue to
Murdoch says he will broadly expand the Journal's reach through a variety of new media outlets. On the
Web, compared to the printed page, there's much more capacity for all types